United Way Young Leaders Track Strong Vincent Grant - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

United Way Young Leaders Track Strong Vincent Grant

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Last fall as part of our Taking Action Against Violence series, we told you about a pilot United Way Grant program targeting truancy at Strong Vincent High School.  The $50,000 grant is part of a larger youth development program and United Way's Young Leaders Society went to school to see how it's working.

Young community leaders age 45 and under, who donate 500 dollars a year to United Way met with a group of Strong Vincent students on the positive youth development advisory board. The heard first hand how it's going with things like bullying, depression, their home life and with their hopes and dreams for the future. They learned that progress takes time.

Sophomore Heaven VanHoosier said, "Little by little, even if we help just one person, that's a greater step toward everybody else. It's like a domino effect...we help one, they help another - even a little bit is better than none." 

Christie Drabic, an employee at G-E Transportation is the chairperson of the Young Leaders Society.  She said, "This program is really about building the safety net that these children need and these teens need to be successful, helping with bullying, giving good mentorship, helping them want to succeed beyond high school." Carlos Ramirez, who runs the program at Strong Vincent has high hopes for long term mentoring relationships to develop from the meeting, even job opportunities.

The United Way will invest $50,000 a year in the youth development program for the next three years.


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